Adoptive cellular therapy for early cytomegalovirus infection after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation with virus-specific T-cell lines

Lancet. 2003 Oct 25;362(9393):1375-7. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)14634-X.


Adoptive transfer of CMV-specific T cells offers the potential for reconstitution of viral immunity after allogeneic transplantation. However, the logistics of producing virus-specific T-cell clones has limited the application of cellular therapies. We treated 16 patients for CMV infection with polyclonal CMV-specific T-cell lines generated by short-term culture. Massive in-vivo expansions of CMV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes were observed, resulting in reconstitution of viral immunity. In eight cases antiviral drugs were not required, and subsequent episodes of reactivation occurred in only two patients. Our findings indicate that application of CMV-specific cell lines is both feasible and effective in a clinical environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer / methods
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / transplantation*
  • Cell Line, Transformed / immunology
  • Cell Transformation, Viral / immunology
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / etiology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / immunology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / therapy*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / transplantation
  • Transplantation, Homologous / immunology


  • Antiviral Agents